Warner Brothers to Release Entire 2021 Line-Up on HBO Max and In Theatres


A couple of weeks ago, Warner Brothers dropped a major bombshell when they announced that Wonder Woman 1984 would be coming to HBO Max on Christmas Day, arriving at home simultaneously with the originally planned theatrical release. They did, however, note that it would only be available on their streaming service for 30 days, after which their plans were unclear (many are assuming it will be given a premium digital release of some sort). Now this week they have dropped an even bigger bombshell: the studio will be following this same release pattern for all of their 2021 releases. This will affect 17 major releases, all of which will debut on HBO Max for 30 days starting on the same day that they hit theatres. The full list of movies and tentative release dates is as follows:

  • Mortal Kombat – Jan. 15th
  • The Little Things – Jan. 29th
  • Tom & Jerry – March 5th
  • The Many Saints of Newark – March 12th
  • Reminiscence – Apr. 16th
  • Godzilla vs. Kong – May 21st
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It – Jun. 4th
  • In The Heights – Jun. 18th
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy – July 16th
  • The Suicide Squad – Aug. 6th
  • Dune – Oct. 1st
  • King Richard – Nov. 19th
  • The Matrix 4 – Dec. 22nd
  • Judas and the Black Messiah – TBD
  • Those Who Wish Me Dead – TBD
  • Malignant – TBD
  • Cry Macho – TBD

There had been rumours over the past week or so that Godzilla vs. Kong and Tom & Jerry were already being considered for direct release to HBO Max, but I don’t think anyone expected it to happen for their entire 2021 slate. Obviously theatre owners will not be particularly pleased with this news, but the studio is insisting that it is only temporary and the assumption is that Warner Brothers will give them a higher cut of ticket sales than usual (a similar deal is said to have been struck for Wonder Woman 1984). With another uncertain year ahead thanks to COVID-19, this seems like a pretty smart move and it is certain to drive subscriptions to HBO Max. Of course, what this means for the rest of the world is unclear, especially where theatres remain closed or relatively unsafe. Are you excited to see all of these movies coming to HBO Max?

  • m s

    Have you heard whether there would be an additional paywall for these movies? Over and above the HBO MAX subscription? I think this is huge and I am guessing other studios will do a similar move. I think the new Pixar movie soul man is going straight to Disney plus. But major movies like Dune and the Matrix 4 seem like a big deal to have it available right away.
    Ps. Does Frank think it’s a spoiler because the title of the movie is Godzilla vs King Kong?

  • Sean

    They are saying there will be no additional paywall. But if theatres reopen sooner, I wouldn’t be surprised if they change directions on this.

  • m s

    Theatres are such a part of the last 100 years, it would be sad to see them go. We have already seen the death of a beloved art house theatre here in Edmonton since Covid. So it’s slowly happening. So here’s hoping they don’t die completely. Your podcast is a bright light these days and always. And it gives me something to do to watch all these movies to listen to the review. Cheers and have a good weekend.

  • eliantigiorgi

    To Hell With The Movie Theatre Industry!!! On With Streaming!!!